When you are looking to maintain your recovery from addiction, exercise may not be at the top of your list of necessary activities. While there may not be an apparent connection between physical fitness and recovery, the is an interrelatedness between the health of our mind and the health of our body. In recovery, your body and mind undergo a process of restoration. As your body and mind start to recalibrate in the absence of substances, it’s common to experience increased stress, anxiety, and a lack of energy and motivation. Exercise in addiction recovery helps you in a myriad of ways and will make your recovery stronger.
The following article outlines the 7 benefits of exercise in addiction recovery.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of exercise in addiction recovery is it helps reduce your daily stress. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals such as pain-relieving endorphins and the “feel-good” chemicals dopamine and serotonin. When you exercise, you feel good, and it helps you regain a sense of healthy balance in your daily life. Exercise can range from a daily 20-minute walk to weight training and team sports.
A Healthy Boost in Energy
Exercise helps improve blood flow while improving the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. As a result, there is a significant increase in oxygen levels throughout the body. When this occurs, you feel a boost of mental and physical energy. When you incorporate an exercise routine in your daily life (especially early in the day), you will have the benefit of added energy, mental clarity, and stress reduction. All of these benefits can help you better manage your addiction recovery.
More Restful Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep every night is essential in helping your body and brain recharge. If you aren’t able to get restful sleep, you become more vulnerable to stress and illness, which can lead to relapse. Regular exercise helps the body lower its temperature at a quicker rate. When the body is at this optimal lower temperature, you will be able to sleep through the night on a more regular basis.
Helps Prevent Disease
Another great benefit of exercise in addiction recovery is it helps boost the body’s immunity and vitality. As a result, you decrease the odds of developing chronic ailments and diseases. Examples include cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, stroke, and heart disease. Additionally, regular vigorous exercise will decrease your risk of developing certain forms of cancer.
Improve Your Mood!
The benefits of exercise go deeper than outward physical appearance. The release of dopamine you experience during regular physical activity helps you feel better about yourself. When you see the physical results of regular exercise, you feel even better about yourself. As a result, your self-esteem and confidence grow in your recovery.
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